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O.K. Sales, Inc. v. Celtic Cabinetry & Millwork

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

June 6, 2018

O.K. SALES, INC. Plaintiff
v.
CELTIC CABINETRY & MILLWORK, A DIVISION OF D&L HOLDING GROUP, INC.; D&L HOLDING GROUP, INC.; and DAVID GLEASON Defendants

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          ROBERT D. MARIANI JUDGE.

         I. Introduction and Procedural History

         Presently before the Court is Plaintiff O.K. Sales, Inc.'s Motion for Entry of Default Judgment (Doc. 9). For the reasons discussed below, the Court will grant Plaintiff's motion.

         On August 3, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Complaint naming as Defendants Celtic Cabinetry & Millwork, a division of D&L Holding Group, inc., D&L Holding Group, Inc., and David Gleason. (Doc. 1). The Complaint alleged Breach of Contract and Unjust Enrichment by the defendants.

         The record demonstrates that summons were returned executed as to each defendant (Docs. 5-7), but no attorney has entered an appearance on behalf of any defendant nor has any defendant filed a pleading or performed any other action to otherwise defend the case. Thus, on December 21, 2017, Plaintiff filed a "Praecipe for Entry of Default Judgment" (Doc. 9) pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(a) and 55(b)(1). The Clerk of Court entered default against the defendants on March 22, 2018. (Doc. 11).

         II. Standard of Review

         Pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, "[w]hen a party against whom a judgment for affirmative relief is sought has failed to plead or otherwise defend, and that failure is shown by affidavit or otherwise, the clerk must enter the party's default". Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(a). Upon the party's request, the clerk of court may then enter default judgment, but only if the claim is for a sum certain or one that can be made certain by computation, the defendant has made no appearance, and the defendant is not a minor or incompetent. Id. at 55(b)(1). In all other cases, the party seeking a default judgment must make an application to the court. Id. at 55(b)(2).

         Although the entry of default judgment is "left primarily to the discretion of the district court", the discretion is not limitless given that cases should "be disposed of on the merits whenever practicable." Hritz v. Woma Corp., 732 F.2d 1178, 1180-1181 (3d Cir. 1984). "Where a court enters a default judgment, 'the factual allegations of the complaint, except those relating to the amount of damages, will be taken as true.'" DIRECTV, Inc. v. Pepe, 431 F.3d 162, 165 n. 6 (quoting Comdyne I, Inc. v. Corbin, 908 F.2d 1142, 1149 (3d Cir. 1990)).

         In determining whether to grant a motion for default judgment, a Court must consider three factors: "(1) prejudice to the plaintiff if default is denied, (2) whether the defendant appears to have a litigable defense, and (3) whether defendant's delay is due to culpable conduct." Chamberlain v. Giampapa, 210 F.3d 154, 164 (3d Cir. 2000) (citing United States v. $55, 518.05 in U.S. Currency, 728 F.2d 192, 195 (3d Cir. 1984)).

         III. Analysis

         A. The Entry of Default Judgment

         Here, Plaintiff O.K. Sales, Inc. ("O.K. Sales") has satisfied all of the requirements necessary to obtain a default judgment against Defendants. In light of the lack of any response or action on the part of the defendants, the Court must accept the following key factual allegations as true:

At all times material to this matter, the above-captioned parties entered into an Exclusive Distribution Agreement dated September 2, 2015. . . . .
Additionally, the parties entered into an Individual Guaranty on [September 2, 2015], [which was] executed ...

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